Pakistan athletes aim to excel at Tokyo Games

Published July 20, 2021
More than eleven thousand athletes will participate in the 339 events featuring 33 sports in 50 disciplines including the newly added sports at Tokyo Olympics. — AFP/File
More than eleven thousand athletes will participate in the 339 events featuring 33 sports in 50 disciplines including the newly added sports at Tokyo Olympics. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Tokyo Olympics is all set to commence from July 23 at the National Stadium of Japan. This will be the 32nd edition of the mega multi-sports event to be held in Tokyo, Japan. It will be the second time that Japan will hold the Olympics Games after the1964 Olympics, making it the first city in Asia to hold Summer Olympics twice.

More than eleven thousand athletes will participate in the 339 events featuring 33 sports in 50 disciplines including the newly added sports.

Pakistan, in the previous Rio Olympics 2016, had sent a 24-member contingent in which there were only seven athletes while there were 17 officials. However, this time, Pakistan Olympic has sent a 20-member squad including 10 athletes and equal number of officials.

The Pakistan hockey team which used to be a major medal hope in the Olympic Games until the early 1990s - it last won the bronze medal at the 1992 in Barcelona Games - failed to qualify for the mega event for the second consecutive time due to its poor show and low ranking. The national hockey team last participated in the 2012 Olympics in London where it had finished 7th.

Following are the penpix of national athletes who have made it to the Tokyo Olympics are:

ARSHAD NADEEM

He will represent Pakistan in the javelin throw event at the Tokyo Games. Arshad qualified for the Olympics during the 2019 South Asian Games where he hurled the javelin as far as 86.29 meters to create a new South Asian record.

Arshad won a gold medal at the 2019 South Asian Games and later bagged bronze medals at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games and Asian Games 2018 respectively. He also represented Pakistan at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and is the only Pakistani athlete to compete at the World Athletics Championship 2019.

MAHOOR SHAHZAD

She was the women’s singles badminton champion in 2017 and has participated in a number of international tournament. Mahoor previously represented Pakistan at the 2014 Asian Games and 2018 Commonwealth Games. She will represent Pakistan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after receiving a tripartite invitation. Mahoor will take on Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi on July 24.

SHAH HUSSAIN SHAH

This competent fighter and son of the 1988 Olympic bronze medallist Hussain Shah, is all set to compete at the Tokyo 2020 judo event. It will be talented Shah Hussain’s second appearance at the Olympics. He previously competed at the Rio 2016 Games. Shah Hussain, who is based in Japan, is two time South Asian Games gold medalist and winner of silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

GULFAM JOSEPH

This brilliant 21-year-old shooter will participate in the 10m Air Pistol event at the Tokyo Olympics. Gulfam qualified on the basis his performance in the 14th Asian Air Pistol Championship in Doha, Qatar, where he finished seventh with a score of 137.9. Gulfam also won a silver medal at the 2016 South Asian Games.

BISMA KHAN

A talented young swimmer, Bisma will be participating in the 50m freestyle swimming competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Bisma is a silver medalist in 200m freestyle at the 2019 South Asian Games. She has also represented Pakistan at the 2018 Asian Games and the World Aquatics Championship.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2021

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